84 percent of Saudi jobseekers are women: GaStat survey

Tayseer Al-Mufarrej

Saudi Gazette report

– The number of Saudi jobseekers reached 1.07 million this year with women accounting for 83.9 percent or 899,000 and men representing 16.1 percent or 173,000, said the General Authority of Statistics (GaSat) in a report published on Tuesday.

The report was based on a survey conducted by the authority, said Al-Madina Arabic daily. About 26.8 percent unemployed Saudis were seeking jobs for the past 12 months while 45 percent of them sought jobs for six months, the report explained.

Referring to the method followed by the jobseekers to get employed, the authority said 31.1 percent of male jobseekers registered their names with the Ministry of Civil Service, while 38.6 percent of them applied directly to companies and other employers.

“About 43 percent women jobseekers have registered with the Civil Service Ministry for getting employed,” GaSat said in light of its survey.

The latest GaSat report showed unemployment rate among the Saudis at 12.9 percent compared to 12.8 percent in the end of 2017 with jobless men accounting for 7.6 percent and women 30.9 percent, Al-Madina reported.

GaStat also pointed out that 234,000 expatriate workers have left the Kingdom in the first quarter of 2018 after the intensification of Saudization programs.

The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims at reducing unemployment rate to 9 percent by 2020 and 7 percent by 2030. The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has increased the rate of Saudization in some business sectors to increase job opportunities for Saudi men and women.

Experts have called for halting foreign recruitment, ending false Saudization and increasing efficiency of Saudi jobseekers to get them employed quickly by the private sector.

The total number of workers from the data of administrative records in Saudi Arabia (Q1, 2018) reached 13.33 million individuals, compared to 13.58 million individuals in Q4, 2017.

“However, the first quarter of 2018 witnessed a decrease in the number of non-Saudi workers by 234,191 individuals compared to the fourth quarter of 2017,” the GaStat said. The number of Saudi workers registered for jobs reached 3,150,409 individuals during the same period.

Tayseer Al-Mufarrej, spokesman of the authority said there was a difference between jobseekers and the jobless. The "unemployed" according to the Labor Force Survey are individuals who are above 15 years of age and are jobless at the time of survey. They include those who did not search for jobs during the four weeks prior to the household visit because they were either waiting for a job or starting their own business in the coming days.

All job seekers in the administrative records are not subject to the internationally recognized standards and conditions of unemployment approved by the ILO and therefore are not considered to be unemployed, he said.

“Hence, not every job seeker is considered unemployed. They may be looking for better work while working in another job. This is the case of many jobseekers in government entities in particular. They may be working in the private sector,” he added.